For Dragonflies And Me

  (Snover, Michigan)
Enjoy the everyday life I love to live!
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Decorating The Porch, Dreaming of Summer and My Favorite Popover Recipe and Yummy Herb Roasted Potatoes

I love to decorate for the seasons... inside and outside in all the seasons. There is true beauty in all, yes even Winter (stay sitting, I really do think so!) I'm not talking about all the Christmas lights and plastic yard ornaments, I'm talking about using nature to beautify along with some cool 'junque'... creative decorating shall we say! Your porch is a reflection of your home and what you adorn it with says a lot about you... That's why when the dog carries a deer leg from one of the boys prizes, I get a bit cranky! Some of 'them' just don't seem to get it. There's no reason that you can't keep it cute till we can once again adorn our porches with live, beautiful flowers. Each season holds some beauty, yes I do admit that with even winter... Evergreen boughs strewn with red berries and there really is nothing like a hoar frost glistening in the bright early morning. Let your neighbors and those that pass by have a treat for their senses with the beauty of your front porch!
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Organizational Tips and Recipes for Herb Salts and Dry Mixes!

I love reading anything on organization! I am a firm believer of everything has a place and everything in it's place.  In my home I up against seven other individuals. Now when I say 'up against' I don't mean that in necessarily a bad way for the most part... I just mean not all members of my household have the same instinct as I do... so I work hard at trying to instill this quality, especially in my children... unfortunately it's too late for my other half(can't teach an old dog new tricks, LOL)!  He was not taught this art in anyway shape or form... he does try to some degree, but it's not his nature. Anyway, some of my children have grabbed hold onto it and some, shall I say are a work in progress! A few things that drive me crazy are when the kitchen cupboard doors are left open... I just cannot understand why they don't close as easily as they opened... sigh! ... or why the dirty clothes land beside the hamper, but not in... sigh!  Well, as my one dear friend always tells me... 'Line upon line... precept upon precept!' So I trudge on!  Really I don't mind it all too much because I do love to get things organized and re-do stuff. Anytime I am in the check out line and there appears a new organizing or storage magazine, they just seem to find there way into my cart! Praise the Lord for constant inspiration!  Last week I spent the morning 'gutting' out and cleaning the boys room... unbelievable is all I can say!   [Read More]
 
 

A Companionate Herbal for the Organic Garden and Yummy Herb Butters Recipe's!

Summer is here and we are in full swing! I am finding it harder and harder to get to this blog with all the responsibilities I have around on the farm.  I am constantly thinking of things to write about and share, but finding the 'thyme', or should I say making the 'thyme' is just taking more effort than I would actually like.  But here I am and of course I love being here.  Lets talk more on herbs shall we? I just can't seem to get enough of herbs, they are so versatile and useful in so many areas in life... the kitchen, bouquet and right into the personal care line! I love to go out to the gardens and pick them... as I brush against their leaves they just welcome me there with their lovely aroma's telling me to pick & enjoy!  I have often touched on companion planting and I recently came across a great list that I thought I would like to share with all of you. Today I am going to focus a bit on the personal care end with of course a few yummy recipes for Herb Butters! Thanks for coming... see you again soon!   [Read More]
 
 

Dividing Iris', Drying Your Herbs, More Herbal Personal Care and Yummy Herb Recipe's!

Well we are already into June and summer is right around the corner.  We have enjoyed all the beauty that spring brings and now we can start to welcome all the special things that summer has to offer... vine ripened heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil along with garlic put together to make a mouth watering Brushetta, Black Eyed Susan's, daisy's and cone flowers are getting ready to show off their colorful faces while our peonies and iris' are bowing out graciously.  Now is the time to start doing some divisions of certain plants, iris' being one.  Herbs are producing prolifically and drying them right now is an optimal time.  If you are a canner and put up your summer's bounty, then you will want to have all those wonderful herbs well gathered and ready to add into your spaghetti and bar-b-que sauce's, not to mention salsa and soups.  I am excited about starting to put the good stuff up here... Rhubarb is ready to be froze and saved to make some yummy strawberry-rhubarb pies, preserves and sauces (more on that next time)... oh my... summer!  [Read More]
 
 

Herbal Bath Bags, Clothespin Crafts, Pamper Yourself Herb Recipe's and more!

The gardens are bursting with blooms and scents that make a person's senses start leaping... the spicy smell of the rose... the peonies simply radiate with beauty as their big pom-pom flowers sway too and fro on the breeze... weeding amongst the basil's, thyme's, sage's and fennel's just tantalize the olfactory senses to a majestic height... Gardening is a gift and no one can convince me otherwise!  Right now we have lots of herbs that are producing prolifically and it can be difficult to get all these yummies put in the pot, shall we say.  Don't despair, you have more options with herbs than just eating them~ although that is my personal first choice! There are lots of folks out there that enjoy herbs in personal care products even more than on the menu. I am going to focus on this area of herbs for the next while to switch things up a bit.  Enjoy the sunshine and smile big... summer's just around the corner!    [Read More]
 
 

Herbs: Planting, Tips and Varieties and a few Herb Recipe's!

The end of the month... we are already through one third of this year... I certainly cannot believe how fast time keeps moving on.  Our farms winter market is over ~ 21 weeks have flown by and now the regular season farmers market which will consume the next 29 weeks our lives begins... Gardening and farming will soon take up much of each day.  I love this time of year and the feeling of exhilaration that comes along with it.  In the next few entries here at Dragonflies, I will be focusing on Herbs. We will be able to start putting out all those goodies in the gardens, decorating our porches and patios and adorning our flower beds with boundless blossoms... my favorite time of year!  [Read More]
 
 

Kitchen Tips and Tricks, Cute Curtain Tie Back, Herb Garden Spritzer and Citrus Raspberry Tea


I spend a lot of time in the kitchen especially in the summer when we are busy with all the canning & freezing we do around our home.  I love to can as you will learn more this summer through my blogs I am sure!  Right now I am excited with spring and all the bounty she holds... rhubarb, asparagus, fresh greens, spinach, fresh garden tea... oh spring is delicious.  But I think all the seasons can be, especially with the season extensions that we have now with hoop houses and heated green houses at our farm.  With our Winter CSA they allow for fresh stuff all year!  Today I am kitchen mode so here are some fun ideas, tips, decorating ideas and yummy drinks to read about! Have a great day and wonderful weekend!
     
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Remembrance Trees, Wedding Shower & Gift Idea's and yummy Three Cheese Herb Pasta Bake

When we purchased our farm the home had been abandoned for over a year and to say the least it was a 'fixer' upper.  Although as we walked through it I could imagine what I could make it to be, and so the long road of fixing is still in progress.  That's o.k. though because I enjoy making things look like 'me'. We moved in the first of March almost five years ago and I had the garden's to be on paper before you could bat an eye.  The veggie garden and flower beds would be first priority and then planning some hard scaping. Each year we have added new elements and I can always envision more beds and dreams. 

Remembrance Trees
or plants are a beautiful and potentially long lasting treasured gift.  Neil's mom had purchased for each of the six children a 'remembrance' tree in memory of their father after he passed away.  Unfortunately our beautiful Emerald Luster Maple tree was left at our previous home.  She had wanted something for our new home and got us several much needed shrubs.  This is such a wonderful idea that can be remembered for generations.  

Wedding Showers
can be so fun and especially with the right theme.  If you are planning on hosting one, even in the dreary months of winter, make it a Garden Theme.  Here are a few cute ideas to get you started!
*Invitations- You can create the cutest invitations with all the graphics, rubber stamps and stickers out there today.  Especially if you have one of those nifty die cutting machines! 
*Have everyone bring their favorite Recipe on a card that you send them with the invitation (then they are all the same size & coordinate).  Put them in a cute Terra cotta pot as each guest arrives; have the bride-to-be pull 2 or 3 of the cards and whoever's name is on them, they win a door prize- give them a potted plant.  The recipes then can be put in a book or box for the bride-to-be and will be a long lasting treasured memory. 
*Place Setting Name Tags- use 10 for $1.00 seed packets- simply use address labels with a cute font and garden graphic to print each guests name on and then put on the front of seed packet to cover the company name, but not flower.  Have just one of a certain seed and use that for another door prize winner.
*Door Prizes- pairs of garden gloves, hand tools- trowels, shovels, scratcher's; garden stationary, seed packets, potted flowers or any other garden themed gift you can come up with.  
*Menu- You can change names of recipe's to feature the theme.  For example, 'Berry Blossom Salad'- use edible flowers (if available) like pansies & nasturtiums. Rhubarb Punch or Garden Spiral Pasta Salad are a few more.  Use your imagination!
 
A wonderful Wedding Gift for the happy couple to be is a Picnic Basket.  Be sure to fill it with two of everything- linen napkins, place mats, plates, cups, flatware and pretty glasses.  Don't forget to include a table cloth, candles & candle sticks and some of the couples favorite treats.  
Another special gift is a small Planter of Cooking Herbs such as Basil, Parsley, Sage, Thyme, Oregano and Rosemary.  Make it even more special by including a book on Herb Gardening and an Herb Cookbook. 

Try this yummy meal using Garden Gates Italian Sausage and let your tastes soar....
Three Cheese Herb Pasta Bake

3 Tbsp. butter                                                                                                                        1 tsp each- basil, dill & oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced                                                                                                       2 Tbsp. fresh parsley from Garden Gate    
1/4 cup Whole Wheat flour, from Garden Gate                                                           1/2 tsp. Pink Himalayan Salt
1 tsp. mustard from                                                                                                           1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
3 cup milk                                                                                                                        16oz. package ofRigatoni, cooked
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese from                                                                             
1 pound Italian Sausage from Garden Gate
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic; saute one minute.  Whisk in flour & mustard.  Pour in milk; continue to whisk until smooth.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat and simmer one minute. 
2.  Combine cheeses;  reserve 3/4 cup and set aside.  Add remaining cheese to sauce, a little at a time, stirring until cheese melts.  Add herbs and seasonings. 
3.  Toss pasta with sauce; sprinkle with reserved cheese.  Spoon into a lightly greased 13"x9" baking pan.  Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  Uncover and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden and bubbly.

Happy Day,
Jean
 
 
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